Britain's Hidden Hungry

#1
From BBC 1 last night

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b01nqcbm/Britains_Hidden_Hungry/

Documentary highlighting the plight of 'Britain's Starving Families' and the good work done by Christian based charities in organising and distributing food parcels.

A few points:

Nobody I saw on there was starving, maybe skint, but certainly not malnourished. Compared the body types in this doc to any 1950s film and there's a marked contrast.

One of the families they followed had chosen to have 5 children; they also had a brand new iMac, 46" TV and 7 seater people carrier.

They followed a student, whilst noting she'd had a 'challenging' upbringing, didn't appear to have any form of paid employment.

Another woman had a 15 y/o kid and had then had chosen to have a baby and was now on the 'poverty' line as a result of her choices. And then there was 'Darren' (I won't do do a plot spoiler here) who gave a sob story of executive employment, redundancy and then....

The point is whilst these charities are doing some unbelievably good work should we be doing more as a society with a holistic approach? Should we have mandatory 'life' skills training for people on benefits and explain that an iPod, Iphone, Mac, car, telephone, internet connection etc are NOT essentials when on the 'bread line'....
 
#2
Good luck with that. I've just fought my way back up the local High Street, ever dodging the packs of Benefit Mums who are continually searching for top-up for their Sammy Galaxies.
 

jarrod248

LE
Gallery Guru
#3
I watched it waiting, looking, searching for the big telly that defines wealth in this country.
It was good and highlighted how to cut down on your food shop.
 
B

Biscuits_AB

Guest
#5
I think it said 'hungry' not 'starving'. I don't think that you need to see rib cages and pot bellies as evidence that this is an issue in the UK. There must be some truly desperte people out there and there's obviously a need for this sort of outreach work. I know that there's a food bank opening up near where I live and I also know that the local CAB is flooded with people who are desperate for help through loss of employment, not through laziness. I wonder how many former Army families will need to use the food bank when it opens? I know that a lot of them have turned to the CAB.

'Darren' was certainly a man very well versed with 'thinking on his feet' when awkward questions were asked. The people carrier you mentioned was over 10 years old, couldn't have been worth £3k tops, and she had her kids before they hit shit street. It would be cheaper to use the car than to cart 5 kids round on bus fares. The point you omitted, was that she was actually out there doing voluntary work rather than sat at home, which must have stuck in her throat a bit when she was challenged by one of the 'staff', over her 'entitlement'. The student was doing much the same. Two people obviously prepared to work, but just not getting paid for doing so.

The closing part of the programme showing the bint with the 15 year old and the baby at home, with the 'returned' boyfriend playing on the X Box in front of the wide screen, is what most people would have picked up on, rather than the issue that we could all end up skint through no fault of our own.
 
#6
Biscuits, you provide some balance, but I contest that a significant number of people have their priorities wrong where food and rent payments are seen as optional versus gadgets, cars and communication toys which are seen as essentials.

edited to add: the car was 9 yrs old and newer than mine no bus fares for the kids. She also had very smart clothes on and smart hair-do (she had afro hair that had been straightened) which no doubt cost as much as a weeks shopping...again, all about priorities
 
#8
People invariably do get their priorities wrong but all to often it's through ignorance rather than laziness or a wish to scam the system. Interestingly I was watching a programme about offal only yesterday. It used to be massively popular during the war and is still popular with the older generation but many of the younger generation just turn their nose up at it.
 
#9
So if you find yourself out of work the first thing you should do is throw away all the good stuff you've worked for don sack cloth and ashes and wander around mumbling alms for the poor?
 
#12
So if you find yourself out of work the first thing you should do is throw away all the good stuff you've worked for don sack cloth and ashes and wander around mumbling alms for the poor?
I've been beyond the breadline myself, throughout most of my childhood and adolescence and as a student, i won't rehearse my story here (it can be found elsewhere on arrse) but will say definitions of poverty are scalable. If your kids are hungry (starving) then amend your lifestyle accordingly...cars, computers, phones etc are options in life, a roof and bread on the table are essentials; and that's where its gone wrong in the past 20 yrs or so.

Providing a roof and food has been delegated to somebody else allowing the head of household to manage their budget for the optional items.
 
#13
So if you find yourself out of work the first thing you should do is throw away all the good stuff you've worked for don sack cloth and ashes and wander around mumbling alms for the poor?
Thought that was for ex-lepers?
 
B

Biscuits_AB

Guest
#14
Biscuits, you provide some balance, but I contest that a significant number of people have their priorities wrong where food and rent payments are seen as optional versus gadgets, cars and communication toys which are seen as essentials.

edited to add: the car was 9 yrs old and newer than mine no bus fares for the kids. She also had very smart clothes on and smart hair-do (she had afro hair that had been straightened) which no doubt cost as much as a weeks shopping...again, all about priorities
9 years old, 10 years old, there's not much in it. It was an old car. As for her appearance, well she has a bit of self pride. You can't knock her for that. I wouldn't say that she was wearing expensive clothes either, in fact she appeared only to 'dress up' for her 'voluntary job' as at the end of the programme, she was dressed down. Her husband, for what little we saw of him wasn't dressed expensively. Her clothes were no doubt bought when she was working. you can't hold that against her. Out of all of them, I think she was hit harder by what had happened to her. She appeared desperate to maintain some form of grip on how things were before (dress, hair, etc), otherwise she'd have ended up falling further into depression. Must have been hard for them. From what we saw of it, she appeared to live in a nice place, which was no doubt the fruits of her previous labour. I don't think that she or her husband ever foresaw the situation they ended up in. I doubt any of us would which would make the landing all the harder.

I hear what you say about 'priorities' but the only family there who appeared to live up to the stereotype was the lass with the 15 yr old. How many dogs lived in that house? I'm afraid that the closing shots on her, will be the longer lasting. Between her and your man 'Darren', they lived up to what people believe and will remember most. It's those last images which enforce the stereotypes (we are already ignoring the fact that food banks in this country exist through necessity). Apart from exposing someone who was prepared to steal from a charity as well as the tax payer, this programme was pretty poor in all, and all it did was mimick a similar earlier documentry highlighting the issue of food banks in the USA. What it will have achieved though, is to polarise views and reaffirm stereotypes, which is quite sad as it removes our attention from the fact that there is actually a need for food banks in this country.
 
#15
I am a pensioner,no car,tiny telly,live on the bread line but never go hungry,all my bills are paid on time, I even give food to the old woman up the street occasionally.Get your priorities in order and you will do just fine and never go hungry,and before you say anything about me owning a computer I saved up and bought it cash.No reason at all for children in the UK to go hungry it is just bad planning (mainly family planning).
 
#16
I have a friend who works for the Goodwin Trust in Hull and they operate a food redistribution centre which is supplied with close to run out date food by various local businesses. They not only redistribute the food to those who need it but they also offer lessons in how to prepare fresh food and how to make it last. Part of the trouble is that cookery programmes on the tv mainly consist of millionaire food divas saying how exquisite such and such a rare grain is and it can be obtained with difficulty from a delicatessen. What they should be doing is showing how to buy a meat joint for Sunday and make it last through to Wednesday or even Thursday.
 
#17
You are assuming they worked in the first place.
The family of 5 in the documentary had worked .I was surprised when they stated he had given up his job to become a student as I would've thought they would have weighed the consequences up beforehand. The shots of the Mac and Tv did exactly what the producers intended it to do and have us talking about it.However if your kids were starving wouldn't you sell some things and buy a cheaper pc/tv etc but then each to their own.
 
#18
Try selling your 50" TV if you lose your job and you will be surprised how little you will get for it. Think about the equivalent of a months HP for a new one.
Therein lies a basic problem for the unemployed in downsizing their lifestyle. 2nd hand consumer goods are worth very little.
 

Wordsmith

LE
Book Reviewer
#19
Therein lies a basic problem for the unemployed in downsizing their lifestyle.
If you are sensible, you take a number of precautions against unexpected unemployment. I have redundancy insurance for my mortgage, have a reasonable amount of savings and don't have debt on credit cards, etc. I could survive for a year unemployed before suffering serious financial worries.

Part of the trouble for many unemployed is that they've lived for the moment and have taken no precautions against unexpected problems. Then, when the worse happens, they're immediately in financial trouble.

People have to take some responsibility for forward planning their own futures.

Wordsmith
 
#20
Try selling your 50" TV if you lose your job and you will be surprised how little you will get for it. Think about the equivalent of a months HP for a new one.
Therein lies a basic problem for the unemployed in downsizing their lifestyle. 2nd hand consumer goods are worth very little.
I understand it may be a false economy and it depends if the goods are on hp or not and it would only be a short term financial boost.My original post was if you have worked for things should you need to give them up whilst seeking help? The producers were very good at giving a comparison of material wealth whilst talking about poverty.
 

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